Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Music List: VeggieTales

Today is Tuesday and not Thursday, but it's a throwback theme today. Are you familiar with VeggieTales? They premiered many years ago and I fell in love with those acting and singing vegetables. I owned the first VeggieTales cassettes and had it memorized at one time. I have not listened to that first music release in awhile, but I wouldn't be surprised if I could singalong with most (if not all) of the songs on the album.

VeggieTales have released several albums now, but these are a few of my favorite albums:

VeggieTunes Volume 1
- Tunes for the first few VeggieTales videos. (This was when VHS was still the technology of choice.)

A Very Veggie Christmas
- Veggie Christmas party with holiday songs - silly and traditional

Rock-a-Bye Veggie
- Lullaby album

The albums can be found at the VeggieTales Store online. The VeggieTales website also has videos you can view to hear some of their tunes as well.


 A to Z Challenge - Letter V - VeggieTales

Review: The Case of the Girl in Grey

Lady Ada Byron and Miss Mary Godwin are back with their second Wollstonecraft Detective Agency adventure! The story picks up soon after book one, The Case of the Missing Moonstone, ends. Ada's sister, Allegra, and Mary's sister, Jane, have just joined the secret agency. The older girls are frustrated with the younger girls, but every brain is needed to undercover, The Case of the Girl in Grey. This story "involves a horrible hospital, a missing will, a hasty engagement, and a suspiciously slippery servant. But Mary has stumbled onto a mystery of her own. She spotted a ghostly girl in a grey gown dashing through the park. A girl who is the spitting image of their new client."

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Case of the Girl in Grey
I did not laugh uproariously during book two, but I did chuckle quite a bit throughout the entire book. I looked forward to every drive while The Case of the Girl in Grey lived in my car's sound sytem. Author Stratford put together another amazing tale that weaves history, mystery, and adventure together. Again, he takes creative liberties, but he explains his decisions at the end of the book as well as historical notes. I cannot wait for the next installment of The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency. Unfortunately, I have not seen any news for the next book at this time. The waiting has begun. In the meantime, check out The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency website. Random House has put together information, activities, and education guides.

Nicola Barber returns to narrate The Case of the Girl in Grey. Huzzah! She maintains her voices from book one into book two while adding new characters. With book two, I felt like a knew the differences between all the voices and characters. I did enjoy all the female and male characters. I also really like how "clandestine" is always thrown about in the book. Whenever Barber reads it, I find myself saying it out loud as well. I hope Barber will return for future Wollstonecraft Detective Ageny books!

Reviewed from a Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, HighBridge Audio!

Audio Book Details...
The Case of the Girl in Grey by Jordan Stratford
Series: Book 2, The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency
Read by Nicola Barber
Produced by HighBridge Audio
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 Hours, 41 Minutes
Release Date: January 2016
ISBN: 9781622314270

Monday, April 25, 2016

Music Review: Sing-a-Move-a-Dance

Have you heard of Colleen & Uncle Squaty? They are a musical team from Wisconsin. They've produced multiple albums and present at several early childhood conferences. (I love their workshops and I would highly recommend seeing one!)

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Sing-a-Move-a-Dance with Colleen and Uncle Squaty
Sing-a-Move-a-Dance is one of their albums and I have used a couple of the songs during storytime. The paper insert is a fold-out which shares lyrics, credits, thank yous, and contact information. The back paper insert includes the track list, brief song information, and song lengths. Since Colleen and Uncle Sqauty all ready shared song notes, I won't add extra notes from me. I did italicize some of my favorite songs from the CD. Sing-a-Move-a-Dance also won two awards: Parents Choice Award and iParenting Media Award. Music albums can always be found on sites like Amazon, but they can be found at North Side Music.

Track List --
1.  Sing-a-Move-a-Dance (Upbeat Movement)
2.  Elephants Have Wrinkles (Echo / Movement Song)
3.  See-Saw (Literary Concepts with Activity)
4.  Alice the Beagle (Movement / Story Song)
5.  Pickin' It Up (Rock/Blues Clean-up Song)
6.  What Dance You Wanna Do? (Fun Interpretative Dance / Latin Style)
7.  Barnyard Boogie (Movement / Story Song / Blues Boogie)
8.  Movin' 'Round the Room (Movement / Echo / Sing-a-Long)
9.  Ukulele Blue Yodel (Fingerplay / Yodeling / Hawaiian Style)
10. Scratch Your Head (Movement / Story Song / Bluegrass)
11. Lorilei's Birthday (Hawaiian Birthday Story Song)
12. I Can Hold On (Movement / Soft Rock)

Reviewed from a personal copy.

Album: Sing-A-Move-A-Dance
Artist: Colleen and Uncle Squaty
Genre: Kindie / Family / Educational
Release Date: 2005


A to Z Challenge - Letter U - Sing-a-Move-a-Dance with Colleen and Uncle Squaty

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Music Review: Through the Woods

Hello, again, Okee Dokee Brothers! Previously, I shared the album Can You Canoe? Now, it's time to share another family listen favorite of mine, Through the Woods. This time the Okee Dokee Brothers took a walk on the Appalachian Trail. Just like their Mississippi River adventure, they spent 30 day in the wilderness.

It's a great album for background listening or on a car trip with the family. The songs range quiet to clap along. The song writers are Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander. The album insert shares little paragraphs about each song and the story behind it. Also included with the CD is a DVD with videos they filmed along the way. You can get a preview of their songs as well as their videos on their website. Below is the track list and a few notes from me. The italicized tracks were some of my favorites from Can You Canoe?

Track List --
1. Through the Woods
2. Big Rock Candy Mountain (with Hubby Jenkins - Carolina Chocolate Drops)
3. Jamboree
4. Evergreen
5. Walking with Spring (with Cathy Fink)
6. Out of Tune
7. Black Bear Mama (with David Holt)
8. Hillbilly Willy
9. Riddle & Rhyme
10. Tiny Little Life
11. Ruby Jane
12. Fiddlestick Joe (with Marcy Marxer)
13. Lighten Your Load
14. Echo
15. Baby Mine (with Rosie Newton)

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Through the Woods
Artist: The Okee Dokee Brothers
Label: Okee Dokee Music
Genre: Folk / Americana / Kindie / Family
Release Date:


 A to Z Challenge - Letter T - Through the Woods by The Okee Dokee Brothers

Friday, April 22, 2016

Review: Seasonal Songs in Motion

Hello, again, The Learning Station! Previously, I shared my thoughts on their album La Di Da La Di Di Dance with Me. Today I have Seasonal Songs in Motion. There is a song for each of our four seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) as well as couple winter holiday songs. They also share that "the last five can be used in any season." I have not used any of these songs for storytime, but the CD is a newer one in my library's music collection.

The paper insert does include song lyrics, song lengths, and occasional movement directions. The track list is below and a couple italicized tracks were some I enjoyed. I also added a couple notes. Happy listening!

Track List --
1 - Hungry Caterpillar
2 - Spring is Here
3 - Green Grass Grows
4 - Mulberry Bush - classic song with a new movement twist (march, skip, hop, clap) - circle song
5 - Sunscreen - body song - summer song
6 - Row, Row, row Adventure - classic song with a new story twist ... rowing chorus and a narrator captain sharing a story about the stream you're rowing on
7 - It's Fall Again
8 - Stirring Our Brew
9 - Dradel, Dradel, Dradel
10 - Kwanzaa
11 - Comin' Down the Chimney - "She'll Comin' Round the Mountain" mashed together with a Santa Clause theme - call and response song
12 - Snowflakes - body song - pretend skating
13 - If You Feel It
14 - London Bridges
15 - Can You Do It?
16 - I Got a Hat
17 - Bam!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Seasonal Songs in Motion
Artist: The Learning Station
Label: Hug-a-Chug Records
Genre: Kindie / Educational
Length: 49:45
Release Date: November 2001


A to Z Challenge - Letter S - Seasonal Songs in Motion by The Learning Station

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: Raffi Fun Food Songs

Have you heard Raffi? He's a classic children's musician with hundreds of songs, over 20 CDs, and over 10 books. He's got a passion for quality music for kids and he's been singing with families for decades. One of his most popular songs is Baby Baluga.

Fun Food Songs is one of his newer albums and one I love to pop in the CD player while I work. It's music I can sing along with or keep on as background music. It's fun family listening. The lyrics are not included in a paper insert, but they can be downloaded from Raffi's website. You can also download music credits on his website as well. The track list below and a couple italicized tracks that I enjoy while listening.

Track List --
1 - Peanut Butter Sandwich - pb & j song - kazoo song too
2 - Brush Your Teeth
3 - Five Little Pumpkins - fingerplay rhyme
4 - Down By the Bay
5 - Going On a Picnic - question and answer song
6 - Corner Grocery Store - This song reminds me an out of print book: "The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read" by Irma Simonton Black.
7 - Day O
8 - Biscuits In the Oven
9 - Oats & Beans & Barley Grow
10 - Savez-Vous Planter Des Choux?
11 - Apples & Bananas
12 - Bananaphone
13 - Naturally
14 - Kitchen Sing Sing
15 - Coconut

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Fun Food Songs
Artist: Raffi
Label: Rounder
Genre: Kindie
Length: 30:03
Release Date: November 2013


A to Z Challenge - Letter R - Raffi Fun Food Songs


Raffi Fun Food Songs on Amazon (Affiliate)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Music Review: Questions

Q. Q? Q is like the letter X. It's not an easy letter in an alphabet book. Sometimes the match is far-fetched, but those letters are needed. Q and X are a part of our language. I've decided to branch out and ask some questions. Or you could ask questions in the comments below.

Do you have a favorite storytime song or music album?
- It would be very difficult to name just one song or one album. Some of my tried and true singers I use for storytime are Hap Palmer, Jim Gill, Miss Carole, and Mike Soloway. I usually end of using Jim Gill the most right now.

What's the newest album that you enjoy as a family?
- The newest album that I have in my head is Odds & Ends by Andrew & Polly. I'll have to share that review soon. I have their Grapes song on repeat way too often in my head, but it's a fun song for little ones. I can't help but picture my little loved ones singing it on repeat as well.

Is there a kindie album I should hear?
- I've heard a good handful of albums, but there is always something new around the corner. Give me a suggestion!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Music Review: Peek-a-Book and Other Songs for Young Children

Hello, again, Hap Palmer! Previously, I shared Hap Palmer's Creative Movement and Rhythmic Expression and Two Little Sounds Fun with Phonics and Numbers. I picked up the Peek-a-Book album for possible use during a baby storytime session. After listening to it, I would say this CD is more suited to general family listening than in storytime. There are a couple songs that stood out to me and I've italicized the titles.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Hap Palmer's Peek-a-Book and Other Songs for Young Children CD
The paper insert is a more basic one than his previous titles I reviewed. The insert includes lyrics, credits, and a little info about Hap Palmer and his music. Song lengths are also not included. I did add some notes about most of the songs, but some of the titles I thought are self-explanatory to the content.

Track List --
1 - Gettin' Up Time - animal song (bird, pup, kitten, calf, colt, chick, duckling, pig)
2 - Baby Songs Theme Song - Baby Songs was a video series and this is the theme song
3 - Baby's First -
4 - My Mommy Comes Back - visits away from mom song
5 - Don't Wash My Blanket - security blanket song
6 - Peek-a-Boo - seeking song - Sheila, Danny, Jim, Jannie are the names in the song but you could replace them to make it personal
7 - Lovey and Me - security / comfort item (teddy, blanket, doll, or stuffed toy)
8 - Piggy Toes - ten little toes song - toe wiggle song
9 - Walking - learning (remembering) to walk song
10 - Daddy Be a Horsie - playtime with dad song
11 - Teddy Bear Ball -
12 - Today I Took My Diaper Off - no more diapers song
13 - I Can Put My Clothes On By Myself - dressing song
14 - What a Miracle - echo song - movment song (clap, stamp, swing arms, bend, stretch, twist, bend, balance)
15 - Raggedy Rag Doll Friend -
16 - Merry-Go-Round - riding a merry-go-round (one from a carnival, not a playground)
17 - Teddy Bear -
18 - Just Fun - movement song (jump, spin/turn around, rolling)
19 - Finger Foods - food song -
20 - Boogie Woogie Wash Rag Blues - bath song
21 - Goodnight Story Time - evening song - books / stories song

Reviewed from a personal copy.

Album: Peek-a-Book and Other Songs for Young Children
Artist: Hap Palmer
Label: Hap-Pal Music, Inc
Genre: Kindie
Length: 51:57
Release Date: November 1996
ASIN: B00000I6YJ


A to Z Challenge - Letter P - Hap Palmer Peek-a-Book and Other Songs for Young Children

Monday, April 18, 2016

Music Review: Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee

Hello, again, Jim Gill! Here is another of Jim Gill's fantastic music CDs. I've previously shared Jim Gill presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes and Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise, Idaho. As with his previous albums, "Do Re Mi" offers a lot of great music for storytime or general listening. I italicized and bolded the tracks I have used during storytime. I italicized additional tracks that I like and added my thoughts and notes.

Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee reviewed at Adolescent Audio Adventures

The paper insert for the CD case included lyrics, credits, and thanks. There are two songs that do no include written lyrics: "San Francisco" and "My Bonnie." There are a few notes on different actions or song extensions that you can use in your classroom, storytime, or home. Song lengths are not listed on the paper insert.

Track List --
1 - The Tempo Marches On - marching song - slow to fast song
2 - Knuckles Knees - body song - cumulative song
3 - Spin Again - spinning song - "freeze song" during the verses
4 - The Wrong Song - silly song
5 - Toe Leg Knee - body song - do re mi song
6 - My Ups and Downs - large and small song - stretching up and laying down
7 - San Francisco - music and original lyrics by John Phillips - body song - instrumental middle - song fades out
8 - Driving Here, Driving There - traveling song - fill-in the rhyme with different states in the US
9 - My Bonnie - traditional song - arms up and down - letter B song -
10 - Yes, No, Maybe - rhyming song - silly song -
11 - Color Game - colors song - body song - "take" a color and play with it
12 - Mashed Potatoes - potato song - sequential song -
13 - Spin Again ... Again - adapted version of traditional song "Michael Finnegan" - name song
14 - The Nothing Wrong Song - movement song (jump, stamp, spin, crawl, sing)

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Jim Gill sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee
Artist:Jim Gill
Label: Jim Gill Music
Genre: Kindie
Length: 29:16
Release Date: March 1999


A to Z Challenge - Letter O - Jim Gill Sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Music List: Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

The letter M and N are so close to each other in the theme I wanted to chat about this weekend that I am combining them in one post. I'm going rouge in the A to Z Challenge. Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes are traditional songs and classic children's music in my mind. Many musicians share various traditional songs on their albums or create a whole album of classic kindie songs. They even create new renditions of all classics. But there are some groups that seem to focus on Mother Goose melodies and Nursery Rhymes that get passed down from generation to generation. One of the first groups that sprang to my mind was Wee Sing. Pam Beall and Susan Nipp created cassettes and CDs that have hundreds of songs. Kidsongs is another group that sang hundreds of songs. I also remember early episodes of Barney before he had all those dinosaur friends. A more "modern" rendition of Mother Goose is Mother Goose Rocks. Those are a fun listen if you like a variety of music styles. (Unfortunately, they didn't have their own dedicated website.)

Those are some albums I grew up singing. How about you? Do you have a nursery rhyme / Mother Goose / traditional tape that you enjoyed while you were a little learner? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Appleblossom the Possum

Appleblossom the Possum is about a possum who names herself Appleblossom.

She comes from a large family of siblings who all have names beginning with A. They are first batch babes of Mama Possum. Mama Possum teaches her young possums about the theatre of life! They need to take center stage to survive from monsters (cars, people, and dogs) and find food to eat each night. They need to find a place to rest when the sky turns the color of plums

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Appleblossom the Possum
Appleblossom the Possum is the fifth story from Holly Goldberg Sloan. (Perhaps you are familiar with her previous popular novel, Counting by 7s.) Sloan throws together fact and fiction when sharing the story of Appleblossom. Theatre studies also played a large roll in Sloan's story. The possums were anthropomorphic. When they interacted with "peoples," they did keep their squeaks rather than English conversation, which I appreciated.

Sloan's novel is on the 2016 Audie Finalist list for Young Listeners. Well-known actor, Dustin Hoffman, narrates Sloan's story. He can read well and bring fun dynamics to Appleblossom the Possum. I think my favorite character voices were Big Poss (Papa Possum) and Amlet. In addition to an Academy Award winning actor, Listening Library added sound effects and music throughout the story. It's is original music by Ry Cooder. Excellent addition to the story. The music brought a country, outdoor tone while the sounds effects gave it some umph and whimsy. I can hear that a lot of work went into this audiobook.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Read by Dustin Hoffman
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 3
Total Time: 3 hours, 39 minutes
Release Date: August 2015
ISBN: 9780739360538

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Music List: Lullabies

The letter L is the near the middle of the alphabet, so I'm taking a little break from my previous style of music reviews. I'm making a list for the letter L. It is a list of lullaby albums that I enjoy listening to while sleeping, relaxing, or simply just to have background music. Perhaps these albums are new or their old favorites. You can let me know your favorite lullaby album by leaving a comment on this post.

Music List of Lullabies from Adolescent Audio Adventures

Lullaby Tribe : Sleep Like a Princess
 - Guitars and piano mix with nature sounds

The O'Neill Brothers : Christmas Lullabies
 - Beautiful blend of Christmas carols and nursery rhymes.

Sesame Street : Sleepytime Bird
 - Story of Big Bird on Sesame Street with lullabies

Chris Rice : The Living Room Sessions
 - Piano hymns

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Music Review: Kidquake!

Have you hear The Not-Its?  The Not-Its are a kindie rock band. I have not used their music during storytime sessions. They are a family listening type of music with kid friendly lyrics. My copy of Kidquake! is an old library copy, so I don't have any album insert information. The album cover is a just a photocopy. I have the track list below and a couple italicized tracks that I enjoyed on this collection.

The Not-Its have a large website if you'd like to explore some more. You can sample their music on the website and purchase it there as well. They also do a bit of touring, depending on where you live maybe you can catch a live show.

Track List --
1 - Kidquake! - album song
2 - Let's Skateboard - skateboard song
3 - Busy - busy lives and take time
4 - Rock, Paper, Scissors
5 - Temper Tantrum
6 - Operation Cooperation - school song - work together song
7 - Full Tilt - pinball song
8 - Participation Trophy
9 - Tarantula Funeral
10 - Walk or Ride
11 - The Not-Its! Love You

Reviewed from a personal copy.

Album: Kidquake!
Artist: The Not-Its!
Label: Little Loopy Records
Genre: Kindie / Rock
Length: 28:19
Release Date: February 2013


A to Z Challenge - Letter K - Kidquake! from The Not-Its!


Kidquake! on Amazon (Affiliate)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Music Review: Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes

Hello, again, Jim Gill! Here is another of Jim Gill's fantastic music CDs. This CD also comes with a DVD. There is no paper insert in the library case, so lyrics, credits, thanks yous are unknown. Song lengths are not listed on the CD. I italicized and bolded the tracks I have used during storytime. I italicized additional tracks that I like and added my thoughts and notes.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviewed Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes

Track List --
1 - Beethoven's Five Finger Play - 2:10 - counting song - fingerplay song - classical music
2 - It Takes Some Friends - 2:45 - friends song - clapping, stamping, singing
3 - Truck Stop - 4:56 - story song / imaginative play song
4 - Have You Seen the Trampoline? - jumping song
5 - Johnny Cuckoo - traditional song adapted by Jim Gill
6 - Bagpipes - body song (knee, arm, head, body)
7 - The Onomatopoeia Pizzeria - pizza song - silly ways to sing the song (clap, hiccup, gargle, whisper)
8 - I Was Born a Horn - body song (thumb, tummy, arms, lips, fingers) - musical instruments (trumpet, drum, strings, reeds)
9 - Bananas - imaginative play song - food song - grow, pick, peel, eat, and go bananas
10 - Habanera La La La - singing la la la
11 - Bounces Abundant - jumping song
12 - I Changed My Mind - dancing song - slow and fast
13 - Two for Tea - counting song - fingerplay song
14 - Foot Notes - foot song / shoe song
15 - Living Inside of a Jar - bottle music - silly song

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes
Artist:Jim Gill
Label: Jim Gill Music
Genre: Kindie
Length: 46:09
Release Date: October 2011
ASIN: B006432EBA


A to Z Challenge - Letter J - Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes

Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: The Door by the Staircase

Mysterious Madam Z arrives at the Buffalo Asylum for Young Ladies. Mary Hayes jumps at the chance for adoption to leave that terrible place. But does that mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Door by the Staircase by Katherine MarshKatherine Marsh has woven together a very mysterious (at time frightening) tale. It's a retelling of a
Russian fairy tale / folk tale - Baba Yaga. Being unfamiliar with such tales, I walked into a whole new territory. The village is called Iris (narrator pronounced it "ear is"). The village was described as an occult town, which threw me for the loop, but I stayed with it. Iris is a tourist town that features magicians, illusionists, con men, charlatans, and such. Madam Z lives near Iris, but has her own kingdom where she lives and takes Mary home. Mary meets a young magician, Jacob, in the town and they discover the magic in Iris. Some magic is truly just tricks, but other magic is real and connected to Madam Z's world. They join forces to uncover if Madam Z is safe or harmful for Mary's future.

I appreciated the play between magic tricks and fantastical magic. I loved that Mary had a copy of Household Tales (fairy tales around the time of the Grimm brothers) that she read throughout the book. The Russian food described during the book was also very interesting. If you like Russian literature, folktales/fairy tales, or scary books, this would be one for you! I picked it up because it was a fantasy story, but it was a bit unsettling, or dark, for me.

A silly side note... In my imagination the door by the staircase, was never by a staircase. The mysterious door was next to the fireplace. There were no staircases in my imagined home of Madame Z. It's just fascinating how all minds are different and each reader will create their own Baba Yaga home when they listen or read this story.

Laurel Merlington read The Door by the Staircase. I liked her narration from the beginning. Mary sounded young and Madam Z sounds elderly and Russian which was how those characters were described. Jacob and Koshchey, the male main characters, sounded masculine to me. Yulik the cat was the hardest voice to hear for me. It was close to her natural narration voice, but Yulik doesn't speak until later in the book. This is the first book I've heard with Merlington and I would listen to her again.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Dreamscape Media!

Audio Book Details...
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Read by Laural Merlington
Produced by Dreamscape Media
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time: 7 hours, 15 minutes
Release Date: January 2016
ISBN: 9781682628034

Music Review: Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise, Idaho

Have you heard of Jim Gill? He is an author, musician, and a child development specialist. What an amazing man! I've had the joy of seeing him at a library conference for youth librarians and it was a blast. I would highly recommend going to one of his workshops for teachers and libraries if you have the opportunity. I would go back and see him!

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise Idaho
He's one of my top storytime musicians. He currently has a six albums available, so there is a great number of songs to enjoy - quiet, loud, full body movement, and small body movement. You can preview his music on his website as well as purchase his CDs and books. He does run a collection special if you buy "all the things." (I don't get any payment for telling you to go buy his music. I just want to share the joyful and energetic music of Jim Gill with others.)

The CD insert has lyrics, occasional notes of song origins, credits, and thank yous. Song lengths are not listed on the CD. I italicized and bolded the tracks I have used during storytime. I italicized additional tracks that I like and added my thoughts as well.

Track List --
1 - List of Dances - sixteen different dances in a list - very helpful to make a poster of the different dance names
2 - YOW! - what you say when you're in pain
3 - Stick to the Glue - adapted version of "Skip to My Lou" - movement song
4 - The Night We Made it Noisy in Boise, Idaho - muscal instruments song
5 - All Filled Up - food song - body song - rhyming song
6 - Your Face Will Surely Show It - traditional song with more facial expression options (happy, sad, frightened, mad, sleepy, cold, surprised, silly)
7 - 5 Strings on My Banjo - musical instrument song - counting song
8 - Oh Hey Oh Hi Hello - hello song - Ohio song - differ ways of saying "oh hey oh hi hello" (quiet, loud, sad, mad, swimming, out of tune)
9 - Jim Gill's Lullaby - falling asleep as song is sung - "chorus" of WAKE UP!
10 - Doughnuts - food / recipe song (donuts, PB & J)
11 - Tickle Toe - body song
12 - The Effects Song - sounds of home - listen and make your own sound effects
13 - Let's Dance Now! - instrumental dance song
14 - If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out - words and music by Cat Sevens (not written in the CD insert)

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise, Idaho
Artist: Jim Gill
Label: Jim Gill Music
Genre: Kindie / Educational
Length: 30:20
Release Date: August 1995


A to Z Challenge - Letter I - Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise, Idaho

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Music Review: Two Little Sounds

Hello, again, Hap Palmer! Previously, I shared Hap Palmer's Creative Movement and Rhythmic Expression CD. I hinted at my storytime good-bye song and today I have the CD to share! My goodbye song for storytime is on Hap Palmer's Two Little Sounds Fun with Phonics and Numbers album. I use one song on this album nearly every week, but there are quite a few songs on the album that are worthy of more play time.

Hap Palmer amazes me. He puts so much thought and energy into his music. He writes his music and lyrics to this CD and also includes an in-depth teaching guide. The guide lists information on subjects, vocabulary, activity, lyrics, variation, and follow-up for the songs. Wow! It's not instructions on how to use the songs, it's information if you'd care to use it. My good-bye song has movement suggestions, but I have chosen my own movements for the song. The guide is a great tool for those who want to use it.

In addition to the guide content, there are credits, website address, and contact information for Hap in the CD insert.  There are no song lengths listed, but half the songs also have an instrumental version! (Those track numbers are in parenthesis.) I italicized and bolded the tracks I have used during storytime. I italicized additional tracks that I like and added my thoughts as well.

Track List --
1 (19) - Two Little Sounds
2 - My Ramblin' Cat
3 (20) - Down by the Bay - traditional song with musical instrument twist - There is an illustration in the guide of all the instruments used in the song.
4 (21) - The One That Doesn't Rhyme
5 (22) - Wiggy Wiggles Freeze Dance - freeze song
6 (23) - Ten Monkeys in a Tree - traditional song with subraction twist
7 (24) - Meet My Travelin' Friends
8 - We Discover Number Patterns - counting song
9 - Apples, Bananas, Peaches, Tomatoes - traditional song with additional verses
10 - My Playful Pig
11 - How Many Are Here? (Addition & Subtractions)
12 - Hickory, Dickory, Dock - traditional song with additional verses
13 - The English Language Gets a Little Kooky (Consonants)
14 (25) - Five Pennies Make a Nickle - This song could be helpful during Money Smart Week.
15 (26) - Tall Tremendous Tens and Wee Wonderful Ones
16 - What Are You Wearing? - clothing song - movement song
17 - The English Language Gets a Little Kooky (Vowels)
18 (27) - Good-bye, So Long, Farewell, Toodle-oo -

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Two Little Sounds Fun with Phonics and Numbers
Artist: Hap Palmer
Label: Hap-Pal Music
Genre: Kindie / Educational
Length: 72:31
Release Date: January 2004


A to Z Challenge - Letter H - Hap Palmer's Two Little Sounds Fun with Phonics and Numbers

Friday, April 8, 2016

Music Review: Green Gorilla, Monster & Me

Have you heard of Ralph's World? Ralph's World CD's are created by musician Ralph Covert. He's a rocker (indie rocker according to his website) and he creates children's music as well as music for adults. I found this CD at a library book sale and brought it home. I don't recall every using Ralph's World music at storytime.

Green Gorilla, Monster & Me is one CD about of several from Ralph's World. I would only categorize one song on this CD as a movement song. The rest are family listening songs or background songs that can be enjoyed at home or in the car. For me, this wasn't a super CD, but maybe it will be for you! Give it a listen and let me know your thoughts.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Green Gorilla Monster & Me
You can hear song previews at Ralph's World. The CD's insert does not have the lyrics. It does list the songs, credits, thank yous, and Ralph's World albums. The album does not list the length of the songs, so I've added them to the track list below. In addition to the track title and time, I've added a couple notes from me. The italicized tracks were my favorites from Green Gorilla, Monster & Me.

Track List --
1 - Dance Around - 3.29 - movement song - clap, stomp, dance, jump, run, flap, shout "yeah"
2 - Hideaway - 2.26 - "everybody needs a hidaway"
3 - Red Banana - 2.33 - silly song
4 - Gitarzan - 3.28 - song by Ray Stevens & Bill Everette - Guitar + Tarzan silly song
5 - Me and My Invisible Friend - 2.23
6 - Old Red #7 - 3.45 - soap box car
7 - River Flow - 2.54 - lists different boats - lists real bodies of water
8 - Liesl Echo - 3.05 - echo story song
9 - Monster - 2.06 - dog song
10 - Tim the Boy - 1.20 - "listen to what you tell yourself"
11 - I Don't Wanna - 2.23
12 - Tower of Blocks - 3.27
13 - Yum! Yuk! - 2.15 - tasting song
14 - Swingset - 2.59

Reviewed from a personal copy.

Album: Green Gorilla, Monster & Me
Artist: Ralph's World
Label: Waterdog Records
Genre: Kindie / Family
Length: 35:05
Release Date: 2005


A to Z Challenge - Letter G - Green Gorilla, Monster & Me by Ralph's World

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Music Review: Fun Songs for Fitness

Have you heard of Mike Soloway? He has created two volumes of Moving with Mike. They are labeled as Fun Songs for Creative Movement, Dance, & Fitness. I would have to agree! A close friend who is an early childhood teacher found some of Soloway's song on Amazon. After her excitement over finding some great movement music, I knew I had to find out more about Moving with Mike.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Moving with Mike Soloway Volumes 1 and 2
Mike Soloway has two volumes of fun songs for creative movement, dance, and fitness. Each CD has a great range of movement songs. I have used several during storytime at the library. He has a unique voice and lots of energy in his songs. A preview of his music can be found at Amazon. I've tried looking for a website for Soloway, but all I found was his jazz guitar website.

The CDs are in printed cardboard cases with a plastic piece to hold the disc in place. The inside covers share thank yous, dedications, and credits. There is no insert with lyrics. The back of the case lists the song titles as well as the length of each song. Song lengths range from 2:20-4:31.

Below are the track lists for both volumes of Moving with Mike with a few notes from me. The most popular songs I use are Tippy Toes and Irish Hop, but there are so many more great songs besides those two. The italicized tracks are the tracks I've used during storytime:

Track List, Volume 1 --
1. Boom Boom - question & answer song - mostly instrumental - arms, legs, head, shoulders, belly, body, dad, mom, baby
2. Animal Rap - bunny, bird, snake, monkey, mouse  - dancers directed to go to their "spot" when dancing is done for each animal
3. Let's Make a Pizza - imaginative play at the beginning: making a pizza
4. Fire Engine Freeze - freeze song - drive your fire engine then put out a fire
5. Froggy Jump - frog song - jump, swim, climb, shake, sleep - circle song
6. Fly Like a Bird - bird song - slower movement song - imaginative play section in the middle
7. Tippy Toes - classical music - slow to fast - tippy toes, floppy feet, stomping feet, running feet
8. Wave Your Hands Up High - wave, hop, shake, squat, jump, twist, swim
9. Tightrope Walk - imaginative play
10. Toodle Doodle Dance - jig style song - circle song - jump, skip, wiggle fingers/toes, shake hands up/down, arms, nod your head
11. Moving Like the Animals - birdie, froggy, snakey, elephant - dancers directed to go to their "spot" when dancing is done for each animal
12. Make a Little Circle - circle song
13. Bean Bag Bounce - bean bag song - body song (head, knee, elbow, ankle, back)
14. Loosey Goosey - shake, dance, clap, wiggle - built in break during the song
15. Marching Song - marching

Track List, Volume 2 --
1. Irish Hop - jig style song - hop, jump, clap, tiptoe, spin, wiggle, swim, throw the ball, wave, fly - I like to use this song around St. Patrick's Day.
2. Moving Like the Animals 2 - ducky, kitty, bunny, horsey - dancers directed to go to their "spot" when dancing is done for each animal
3. Itsy Bitsy Penguin - penguin song
4. Wave Your Scarves - classical song - scarf song
5. Hokey Pokey Freeze - country style song - body song - freeze song
6. Bean Bag Bounce 2 - bean bag song - body song (shoulder, foot, ear, hands)
7. Funiculi Funicula - classical song - circle song - animal song (horse, duck, kitten) - gallop, jump, waddle, tiptoe
8. Musical Instrument Freeze - freeze song - piano, cello, trumpet, flute, fiddle, banjo, drums, guitar -  Before the song began, I showed everyone what each instrument looks like on the flannel board.
9. If You Have the Energy - jump, wave, tiptoe, fly, turn around, wiggle, hop
10. Tightrope Walk 2 - imaginative play
11. Dancing Like a Fool - classroom song / nursery school - jump, clap, dance, twist, hop
12. Everybody Step to the Left - circle song
13. Animal Rap 2 - frog, duck, cat, rooster, horse - dancers directed to go to their "spot" when dancing is done for each animal
14. Pass the Hot Potato - circle song - bean bag song (or another prop) - mostly instrumental

Reviewed from a library copies.

Albums: Moving with Mike, volume one / Moving with Mike, volume two
Artist: Mike Soloway
Label: Dancing Pug Records
Genre: Kindie / Educational
Lengths: 48:05 / 44:28
Release Dates: January 2010
ASIN: B0033LW9FC / B00356NY6I


A to Z Challenge - Letter F - Moving with Mike: Fun Songs for Creative Movement, Dance, & Fitness by Mike Soloway

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Music Review: Emily Arrow Storytime Singalong

Have you heard of Emily Arrow? She's a new singer who has created her own genre of music she calls Kidlit Tunes. She takes a book (with permission from the authors) and gives it some music. It's a fun story stretcher and another way to enjoy some literature.

Storytime Singalong Volume One is a great disc to listen to on the way to and from the library or on a road trip or just around the house. Emily Arrow has a sweet voice and her songs have lovely mellow sound.

Most of the songs are bookish tunes, but there are some original songs on the disc as well. There is not CD insert because the case is printed cardboard with plastic piece to hold onto the disc. The inside cover lists the song titles as well as credits for each song. There are no song lengths listed on the case, so I'll include them in my blog post. (I typically check Amazon or AllMusic for CD facts.)

You can get a preview of Emily Arrow's songs on her website. She also shares videos on her website as well. Below is the track list and a few notes from me. The italicized tracks were some of my favorites from Storytime Singalong:

Track List --
1. Books! Books! - [:41] - beginning song - storytime opening song
2. The Dot Song (album version) - [2:36] - book by Peter H. Reynolds - art song
3. Louise Loves Art - [2:56] - book by Kelly Light - art song
4. The Curious Garden Song - [3:18] - book by Peter Brown - garden song
5. Are We There, Yeti? Song - [2:03] - book by Ashlyn Anstee - travel song
6. I am Yoga a Song - [2:41] - book by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds - calming song
7. One Day, The End Song - [2:39] - book by Kai Dotlich, illustrated by Fred Koehler
8. I Wish You More Song - [2:36] - book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
9. Poem in Your Pocket - [3:54] - poetry/rhyming song
10. Peanut to My Butter - [2:26] - friendship song
11. Follow Your Arrow - [2:56] - The woosh at the end is wonderful touch.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Storytime Singalong Volume One
Artist: Emily Arrow
Label: Emily Arrow
Genre: Kindie
Length: 28:46
Release Date: February 2016


A to Z Challenge - Letter E - Emily Arrow Storytime Singalong Volume 1


Emily Arrow on Amazon (Affiliate) 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Music Review: La Di Da La Di Di Dance with Me

Have you heard of the trio The Learning Station? The trio of singers are Don Monopoli, Laurie Monopoli, and Jan Hrkach. Just like Hap Palmer, they have produced many, many music discs. The Learning Station also has a lot of videos of their music which can be fun to share at programs or learn how to dance their dance before sharing a new song at storytime.

The first Learning Station song I heard was "Tony Chestnut Knows I Love You." A teacher was playing it in a classroom for a brain break. I asked her about the song and used it quickly afterewards for a storytime. The Learning Station uses a lot of movement in their songs. A lot of their lyrics are moving words so it is easy to dance along with their CDs.

La Di Da La Di Di focuses on dancing songs. The CD booklet shares lyrics, instructions, and song lengths. They also added illustrations to inside, so it's more than just text.

You can get a preview of The Learning Station's songs on their website. Below is the track list and a few notes from me. The italicized tracks were some of the songs I would like to use during storytime:

Track List --
1. La Di Da, La Di Di -- partner dance song
2. Slap Happy -- partner clapping song
3. Jump Up, Bend Down - movement song - body song - jump, bend, shake, spin
4. Scratch My Back - movement song - scratch, itch, stamp, sneeze
5. Friendship Dance - circle song
6. Let's Twist - movement song - body song (hips, head, hands, arms, knees, legs, feet)
7. Copy Cat -- verses move different parts of the body (head, arms, hips, legs, feet) while the chorus is cat like with meows
8. If Animals Could Dance -- imaginative dance song where dancers can make their own moves and sounds -- animals included are cat, cow, dog, duck, elephant, monkey, rooster, sheep snake
9. Aye, Aye, Captain -- partner swimming song
10. Goldilocks & the 3 Bears -- story song
11. New Chicken Dance -- movement song - not related to the "traditional" chicken dance that is usually played at dances or weddings
12. Relaxing Song - cool down song - body song - lay down song

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: La Di Da La Di Di Dance with Me
Artist: The Learning Station
Label: Hug-A-Chug Records
Genre: Kindie
Length: 41:04
Release Date: December 2004


A to Z Challenge - Letter D - La Di Da La Di Di Dance with Me by The Learning Station

Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Stella by Starlight

Several years ago, I read about Deza Malone from The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis. Stella Mills from Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper brought Deza to mind. I think Deza and Stella could have been friends if they lived closer to each other. Both girls grow up fast, but grew up strong and caring.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Stella by Starlight
Stella's story is a family story from author Draper. She draws from her grandma and her father. Her grandmother was a writer. She wrote down her life in a diary and only one has survived. Her father grew up on stories from the elders and walked along the roads of North Carolina.

The Mills family lives in (fictional) Bumblebee, North Carolina. One evening in the moonlight, Stella and her little brother Jojo see a burning cross and men in white costumes. The town was already segregated, but a fresh wave of change is here.

It's a story of change and a story of living. Stella gives the listener (or reader) a glimpse of life during the segregated South. It's a story that makes you think. It's a story about finding similarities between you and strangers. It's a story about writing and a story about community. As I stated earlier, this is a great book to read along with The Mighty Miss Malone. Both books are historical keepers. I would recommend them to older elementary students, middle graders, or families who listen together.

Heather Alicia Simms read Stella by Starlight. What a smooth voice to hear! Simms has a gentle quality, even when the events of the story were intense. I would definitely listen to Simms again. She could differentiate between women, men, boys, and girls during her reading. There were songs as well which she sang a capella. Well done!

The only other music in the story was the intro and exit music which folded into the story very well. The intro music was one voice humming a song and the exit music was a choir singing the song. (I could share the song title, but I want to save that treasure for the next listener.)

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper
Read by Heather Alicia Simms
Produced by Simon & Schuster Audio
Number of Discs: 6
Total Time: 6 hours, 46 minutes
Release Date: January 2015
ISBN: 9781442380394

Music Review: Creative Movement and Rhythmic Expression

Have you heard of the plenteous Hap Palmer? He's a been a very influential children's singer for decades. He's one of my favorite kindie musicians and I haven't heard all of his albums yet. My storytime good-bye song is one of his songs. Today's CD, Creative Movement and Rhythmic Expression, does not have the good-bye song I use, so I'll have to share that on a later date.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Creative Movement and Rhythmic Expression by Hap Palmer
The goal of Creative Movement and Rhythmic Expression is to give children a way to freely express themselves during music. Lyrics are included in the CD insert, but instructions are not included. The songs explore listening, movement, shapes, and colors. The songs have a great pace for kids to follow along with the song. They are not too fast and give instrumental "pauses" from the lyrics to give listeners the chance to move! I also like that many of Palmer's songs "repeat." (Similar verses with different movement options.)

If you're hearing a song for the first time, it can be intimidating to move right away when you don't know what's going on. When verses are repeated in similar fashion, listeners can pick up on what to do and wade into moving more. It's also easier to create your own verses for a more personalized version of a song!

You can get a preview of Hap Palmer's songs at Educational Activities, Inc. Below is the track list and a few notes from me. The italicized tracks were some of the songs I would consider using during storytime:

Track List --
1. - Moving Game I - listen and move (tree in the wind, jet plane, riding a horse, rocket ship)
2. - Fishing Trip - story song - listen and move - instrumental sections throughout for plenty of time to move during the song
3. - Colored Ribbons - ribbon song - body song - color song - instrumental sections throughout for plenty of time to move during the song
4. - Teacher Who Couldn't Talk - instruments song - movement song
5. - Percussion Instruments - memory song  that follows "Teacher Who Couldn't Talk"
6. - Grandpa Builds a Table - story song - listen and move - tools song - movement song - instrumental sections after each tool mentioned
7. - Fast and Slow March - movement song (just as the title says) - slow, fast, slow so there is recovery time
8. - Out to the Country - story song - traveling song: city to the country in a car
9. - How Many Ways - shapes song (square, circle, triangle, figure eight) - instrumental sections after each shape mentioned
10. - Moving Game II - listen and move (elephant, bird, ball/sports, clown)

Reviewed from a personal copy.

Album: Creative Movement and Rhythmmic Expression
Artist: Hap Palmer
Label: Educational Activities, Inc.
Genre: Kindie / Family
Length: 28:16
Release Date: 1998 (originally 1971)


A to Z Challenge - Letter C - Creative Movement and Rhythmic Expression - Hap Palmer

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Music Review: The Big Silly

Have you heard of the Mr. Eric? He's a singer as well as a well-known author! Perhaps you've read about Pete the Cat or The Nut Family. At an early childhood conference, I had the opportunity to sing and dance the polka dot dance with Mr. Eric. A fun and surprising brush with a children's music celebrity!

The Big Silly with Mr. Eric reviewed by Adolescent Audio Adventures
The Big Silly with Mr. Eric features fourteen different styles of music with a variety of song themes. It's also a winner of two awards: 2007 iParenting Media Award and 2007 Children's Music Web Award. Mr. Eric loves to include movement in his songs and there is plenty of clapping, dancing, up and down on this CD. The CD inserts feature the artwork James Dean and his Pete the Cat character. It also includes of full list of music credits and thanks. It does not include song lyrics. Songs times are listed next to the song titles on the back of the CD case. Special guests are listed on the back of the CD as well: Elise Witt, Kingsized, Michael Levine, Rivka the Opera Singer, Nikki Warner, Dr. J, and Pete the Cat.

You can get a preview of Mr. Eric's songs at cdbaby. Below is the track list and a few notes from me. The italicized tracks were some of the songs I would consider using during storytime:

Track List --
1. - Mr. Eric's Jumping Song - bluegrass - movement song (jump, clap, shake) - instrumental sections
2. - Hip Hop ABCs - hip hop - alphabet song - forward and backwards
3. - I Want Chocolate Pie - zydeco - question and answer
4. - Dance Number Three - dance - movement song to the count of three - instrumental section in the middle
5. - Poor Pitiful Me - blues - blues with
6. - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - ballad - traditional song with original verse
7. - Wreck of Old 97 - folk - traditional ballad (historical notes can be found at Wikipedia)
8. - The Number Dance - disco - movement song - counting song (0-10) - fast paced dance song
9. - We Like Lunch (with Rivka the Opera Singer) - opera - a capella
10. - The Humpty Rap - funk rap fusion - traditional nursery rhyme with a funky twist - call and response song
11. - Stop Drop and Roll - rockabilly - fire safety
12. - Are You Sleeping - lullaby - French and English sung in a round - I think other languages are used as well, but I don't have an ear for languages and there are no notes in the CD pamphlet.
13. - The Wheels on the Bus - ska - traditional song re-imagined
14. - Pete the Cat and His White Shoes - story song - This song can also be heard online.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: The Big Silly with Mr. Eric
Artist: Eric Litwin aka Mr. Eric
Genre: Kindie / Family
Length: 38:57
Release Date: December 2006


A to Z Challenge - Letter B - The Big Silly with Mr. Eric

Friday, April 1, 2016

Music Review: Mr. Al a Carte

Have you heard of the Mr. Al? A co-worker shares his music with me several years ago. I've been using his song "Hello Everybody" for many years since I first heard it. I usually use it for special events rather than my weekly storytime at the library. It's a great movement song as well as a greeting / hello song.

Mr. Al a Carte is a compilation CD of favorite songs from Mr. Al's collection. He has a total of ten CDs. For avid listeners or owners of Mr. Al music, he does include two new songs on Mr. Al a Carte: "Pizza Rules" and "The Train." For new listeners, this would be a great introduction CD to Mr. Al's music.

This is an active CD for dance or movement time. There are also some transition songs on here as well. The songs are mostly get up and go, but there are a couple slower movement songs too. I am so happy to share that the CD came with a small booklet that shares the lyrics, song time, and activities for each song. I always appreciate the musicians who take the time to help music leaders use their music. I love sharing music, but sometimes I don't know how to incorporate it into storytime or other events.

You can get a preview of Mr. Al's songs on his website. Below is the track list and a few notes from me. The italicized tracks were some of my favorites from Mr. Al a Carte

Track List --
1. - Hello Everybody - movement song - greeting / hello song
2. - Let's Get Started - movement song - greeting / hello / beginning song - echo
3. - Please Stand Up - movement song - colors song
4. - Rock & Roll Body Parts - movement song - body song
5. - Monkey See, Monkey Do - movement song - body song - spatial words song - silly face song -
           This song would pair well with the book Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins, illustrated by Eric Gurney.
6. - Pizza Rules - pizza song with an echo chorus
7. - You Gotta Have Hugs - slower pace song - emotions song
8. - Bop 'Til You Drop - movement song - lots of ups and downs - echo
9. - I Like the Color Red - slower pace movement song - colors song that focuses on red - echo
10. - Wiggle Your Knees Boogie - movement song - teaches listeners a new dance
11. - I'm Happy - emotions song that focuses on happiness - question & answer song
12. - Back to School Bop - movement song - greeting / hello song (for schools)
13. - Clean Up Time - transitional song for cleaning up - pauses for teacher/leader to add student's names to the song
14. - The Train - movement song - line up song

Reviewed from a library copy.

Album: Mr. Al a Carte
Artist: Mr. Al
Label: Cradle Rock Productions
Genre: Kindie / Family
Length: 39:18
Release Date: September 1998


A to Z Challenge - Letter A - Mr. Al a Carte
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